by Steven Ertelt
May 7, 2005
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A measure that would allow parents to be informed about a potential abortion decision by their teenager daughters has received final approval from the state legislature and now heads to Governor Jeb Bush. The governor is expected to sign the legislation.
The state House voted 96-14 in favor of HB 1659, a bill authorized by a November ballot proposal to change Florida’s constitutional to amend the state’s privacy clause to allow parental notification. Voters approved the idea on a 65 to 35 percent margin.
The vote came in response to two Florida Supreme Court rulings declaring previous statutes unconstitutional.
The House and Senate approved two different versions of the notification bill but lawmakers from each chamber worked out the differences.
The Senate approved the final version of the measure 36-3 on Thursday.
Under the bill, abortion practitioners must notify parents in person pr by telephone 48 hours prior to performing the abortion or, if not possible, 72 hours by certified mail. Girls who come from abusive home situations could obtain a waiver from a judge.
Similar measures in other states have proven to reduce the number of abortions among teens.
Parental involvement laws are an important way to safeguard the health of teenagers, according to Florida Right to Life.
“Parents need to know when someone performs surgery on their daughters,” Robin Hoffman of Florida Right to Life told LifeNews.com last year. “Teens have experienced serious complications and death from legal abortions in Florida. Evidence shows that after parental involvement laws are put in effect, the teenage pregnancy rate goes down, the teenage abortion rate goes down, and the teenage birthrate goes down.”
Eileen Roberts, the founder of an organization that helps parents whose children have abortion, knows firsthand what it’s like to pick up the pieces of her daughter’s life after a secret abortion.
"If parents are responsible for their daughter’s physical and emotional consequences after the abortion, then they should have the right to know before such a life and death decision is made alone by their minor aged daughter," Roberts explained.
"This law allows parents to put their arms around their daughters and say ‘we love you, we can work this out together,’" Roberts said.
Roberts’ daughter underwent an abortion in 1987 at the age of 14. Her daughter suffered physical and emotional consequences from a botched legal in Virginia. Roberts and her husband were forced to spend $27,000 to provide medical care for her.